Today I saw Buck, a documentary about a horse trainer (the inspiration behind Robert Redford’s character in The Horse Whisperer) and so much of what he said in the movie resonated for me – both as a horse person and as a person who experienced childhood trauma. While our trauma was very different in nature, I felt as if I was a kindred spirit to him in some ways. So much of what I value and gain from working with animals, I think, comes as a result of things I experienced during childhood – things that were necessary and I’m quite glad I have them now, but that were painful or embarrassing or just things I didn’t want to do. Ever since I really sat on a horse and learned the basics of riding at age nine, I’ve understood that I could get a release from things that stressed me out there.
Now as I’ve become older I’ve found a bunch of other things that I’m equally passionate about, but there’s something special in the interaction between animals and people that always holds a special place for me. I don’t know where I would be without it.